Archive for December 2014

Forgetting the Lesson of Cypherpunk History: Cryptography Is Underhanded

Those who extol the virtues of commercial technology as a means of remediation to government and other cyber-surveillance – suggesting that companies like Google and Apple, conspicuously deploying encryption to protect user data, will gradually foster near universal internet privacy – forget cypherpunk history.

I find this an insightful perspective on naively trusting large companies to do more than pay lip service to truly protecting their customers through encryption.

The reality is that companies tend to collaborate with spies as a matter of shared class interests. There are subtle affinities that link corporate officers and intelligence officers beneath the surface of the body politic, an interface that has been referred to as the Deep State. Leaked documents show how spymasters and CEOs communicate via e-mail on a casual first-name basis. Indeed, writers like Julian Assange and Yasha Levine have described in detail the far-reaching links between high-tech companies, the Pentagon and the US State Department – the sort of relationships that President Eisenhower warned against in his 1961 farewell speech.

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